The Timeless Flooring Everywhere in Italy

It’s hard to take pictures for a blog on a trip because I never know what I’m going to talk about until I start gathering photos for a post. Then I start thinking “Darn, I wish I had taken more pictures of floors.” But it wasn’t until the end of the trip that I noticed how much of the same flooring I’d seen everywhere.


Underground tour in the Colosseum | Rome


Herringbone floor somewhere in the Colosseum


This was our breakfast room in Tuscany. We were in a villa on the property.  Warm wood finishes repeat the orange terra cotta floors.


{via pinterest}

In this kitchen the same wood stain is in the island which repeats the floor colour.


Exterior of Hotel with the vines and the rooftop deck where we had dinner in Rome.


Carrara marble staircase inside the hotel


In another hotel in Florence. Carrara staircase.


This picture with another herringbone sidewalk was taken in San Gimignano, Italy.


 Over 200 year old vine. Palace gardens in Florence.


 Herringbone Floor hall from the street in Florence into a private garden

Then I thought I’d do a search to find out how it looks when it’s not in a 200 year old building.


House & Home

Here it is in a very white and current interior. When it’s an all over brown/rust colour, it can almost pass as a hardwood floor.


via pinterest

Here with cream grout and walls with and white trim.

I was consulting with one of my lovely readers today and we were talking about her bathroom floor. I suggested a herringbone charcoal floor.

 greyfloorvia pinterest

Charcoal, you might be thinking?


A trendy colour like that being specified here at

Yes, you heard right ; ) ; )

I have been in so many old homes from the 60’s with charcoal slate flooring in the entry that no one was in a hurry to rip out, so I think I’m safe to call it timeless here.

Since I saw this pattern SO MUCH in Italy, where it has been for centuries, I’m thinking we could embrace it back home.


{via pinterest}

I like how the wood stained island warms up the charcoal floor. And I like that it’s not a multi-patterned colour which immediately limits your decorating options to what’s in the tile. With this white kitchen, there’s still lots of room for fresh colour in accents.

So my lovelies? Are you ready to embrace herringbone? Yay or Nay. What do you think?

Related posts:

When Should you Rip out Brand New Tile?

One More Reason you should Skip Accent tiles Altogether

Warning: Rant Alert on the Tackiest Advice Ever

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.



leave aREPLY

  1. Its so beautiful because its “real” authentic and I think
    the texture really adds to the beauty!! Love It!!!

  2. I have been pondering a travertine herringbone tile for my entrance way for sometime now. However due to other factors in Italy, culture, age etc. I am wondering if the herringbone may not look the same in Ontario, Canada. This article makes me wonder even more: should I?

  3. Much to the disappointment to our tiler i’m giving it a try on toilet walls in white. He really doesn’t want to fiddle around with all of the off cuts etc. But hubby is behind me on this one!

  4. We are building a new home and l love herringbone wood floors but can’t find anyone who will install it. It is much more labor intensive and no one we have talked to has any experience with it so if anyone know someone in the Seattle are please let me know.

  5. I grew up amidst the sea of herringbone easy to embrace))
    Here it’s crazily expensive though.
    Maybe I’ll try to do herringbone tile, on the patio. I love the pattern.
    What’s strange to me is that I very, very much dislike chevron..))

  6. Uh oh, Maria’s been enjoying too much of the local wines! I agree on the herringbone floors and if you google for it you will find it in many French and English homes too. So it does seem to be timeless and not tied to only one style of home.

  7. I like your Italian floors post but my memory of Italian flooring is the Travertine marble seen everywhere much of it from prvious centuries.
    That is a timeless, beautiful classic, but maybe unfashionable in parts of N. America. Maybe its the current (passing) no-biege bias. Still very popular/timeless in desert communities.

  8. So enjoyed your traveling tips. Great read.
    Herringbone–Yay for this girl. Very pretty. In all forms. Growing on me it is. And I really think the charcoal floor is so pretty. They all are!

  9. Great post Maria! I have always loved herringbone tile, and by the looks of things it continues to stand the test of time! You can be both current and classic at the same time, so it is the safe choice that can be applied to any design element in a person’s home.

  10. I recognize the hotel of your photo of the Carrara marble staircase. It’s Antica Torre on Via Tornabuoni. It was the fabulous light fixtures that gave it away. Such a gorgeous hotel.